Tag Archives: why

The Worm of Doubt

Doubt is difficult, no doubt about it. We speak of being plagued by it, or gnawed upon by it—and that’s exactly how it often feels.

I myself am very good at doubt.

I know people who are not, or at least don’t seem to be, either in general or at least with respect to a particular area of their life. They sail along in apparent certainty, and sometimes I envy them, because I think they’re happier than I am.

Unless, of course, they get blindsided by something they should have questioned and are abandoned by a spouse or asked to drink cyanide-laced Flavor Aid, like hundreds of followers of Jim Jones did in 1978. (Although, on the other hand, which is preferable: 10 years of happiness followed by a year of total anguish, or perhaps even death, or 11 years of being gnawed upon by the worm of doubt?)

I doubt most everything, except, perhaps, my love for my children and my grandchildren and certain staples like gravity and tooth decay—and one of the things I regularly doubt is qigong. I ask myself questions like “what if this is all really nonsense?” and “what makes me think I’m worthy of being a teacher?” Continue reading

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What’s This?

What’s this, indeed. “This” is a lot of words—plus the occasional picture—about something that’s either beyond words or at least traveling along parallel tracks.

Qi, or chi, is what the Chinese call life energy. It can be experienced in many different ways—as warmth, tingling, or perhaps a certain density, or presence, or pressure, perhaps even as expansiveness or euphoria. It billows and flows, or it doesn’t; it’s strong or it’s faint or maybe you can’t feel it at all—but it’s still there, always with you. However, it can’t be isolated and scientifically examined and described, or at least it hasn’t been so far.

Writing about such a thing is problematic. It may even be counter-productive. A purist would say we should all pull the plugs on our computers, shut off the flow of words into our overly analytical minds and just go practice qigong—qigong being the Chinese word for cultivating qi. Continue reading

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